In this brilliant and often overlooked Studio Ghibli masterpiece, the forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard raccoon form to practically any object. The tanuki spend their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food—until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens their way of life. In an effort to defend their home, the tanuki learn to transform into humans and start playing tricks to make the workers think the construction site is haunted, ending in a spectacular night-time spirit parade, with thousands of ghosts, dragons, and other magical creatures descending on the city.
Appears in: Classics From Studio Ghibli
Other Films by Isao Takahata
Realizing that she is at a crossroads in her life, bored twenty-something Taeko heads for the countryside. The trip dredges up forgotten childhood memories which unfold in flashback to younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys. In lyrical switches between the present and …